Becca Rothfeld on Sanctimony Literature

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Building on her critical reading of Sally Rooney’s Normal People a year ago, Becca Rothfeld surveys the characteristics of a genre she calls “sanctimony literature” in Liberties.

 

Ryan Ruby on Chris Power

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Amid a great deal of fanfare for Chris Power’s début novel, A Lonely Man, Ryan Ruby has stepped forth with a dissenting view in the New Left Review.

 

Samuel Liu on David Foster Wallace

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At the Los Angeles Review of Books, Samuel Liu reassesses the work of David Foster Wallace in light of an uncertainty about Wallace’s gifts, let alone his supposed “genius”.

 

Thomas Chatterton Williams on #DisruptTexts

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In his regular column for Harper’s, Thomas Chatterton Williams takes aim at the #DisruptTexts movement, which advocates for the diversification of reading lists via the purging of titles that are not “relevant” to minority communities.

 

James Ley on Jenny Erpenbeck

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In a perceptive analysis at the Sydney Review of Books, James Ley tries to find a common thread between the novels of Jenny Erpenbeck and her new collection of essays.

 

Tess McNulty on Kazuo Ishiguro

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In the latest issue of The Point, Tess McNulty tries to find the source of the hypnotic power of Kazuo Ishiguro’s otherwise unremarkable prose style.

 

Garielle Lutz on the Challenges of Writing

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Given the imminent publication of her latest collection of fictions, Worsted, Garielle Lutz does the pro forma Q&A thing — but gloriously — over at Fifteen Questions.

 

Madeleine Schwartz on Sophie Mackintosh

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Echoing the disillusionment of Aida Edemariam, Madeleine Schwartz airs her misgivings about Sophie Mackintosh’s Blue Ticket in the London Review of Books.

 

James Ley on Ali Smith

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At the Sydney Review of Books, James Ley casts an eye over the rambunctious prose of Ali Smith’s seasonal novels and finds Smith with a less-than-firm grip on her control mechanisms.

 

Garth Greenwell on “Relevance” in Art

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In a long, searching essay in Harper’s, Garth Greenwell takes a stand against the view that certain works of literature aren’t “relevant” to readers on the basis of their author’s identity.